That ‘Home Office’ of Yours? It Needs an Upgrade

If you’ve been working from home for months and have concluded that this situation is unlikely to end anytime soon, you may be giving your makeshift work space a serious second look. You’re not alone.

“We’ve been getting a lot of people asking about ways they can improve their home-office scenarios — both past clients and new inquiries,” said Keren Richter, a founder of the Brooklyn-based interior design firm White Arrow. “It’s definitely a topic right now.”

Continuing to work from your bed or the dining table is unlikely to be very productive, or feel very professional, in the long term. But what should you do if you don’t have an extra room for a proper home office, or even an obvious space for desk?

“Sometimes it’s just about carving out a space within a space,” Ms. Richter said. Or it might involve finding leftover space — like the attic she recently converted into a home office at her house in Pound Ridge, N.Y.

For advice on how to squeeze a work space into any home, we talked to architects and interior designers.

In one Gramercy Park studio, he designed a sliding door beside the living room sofa that could be pushed aside to reveal a hidden office with a built-in desk, cabinet and shelves.

For such tight installations, using built-in furniture, rather than trying to squeeze a regular desk into the nook, helps maximize the space. “A simple custom desktop is always worthwhile, because it frees the space underneath the work surface from legs and other obstructions,” Mr. Chen said. “It allows you to maximize the usable space.”

She opened up the bifold doors, removed the junk and added her own built-ins, making low-cost shelves with plywood and pine trim, and a desk with a stained piece of plywood sitting on top of a pair of reclaimed kitchen cabinets. A desktop computer tower is hidden on a pullout shelf in a cabinet, with a cutout near the back to provide ventilation and access for cables.

Painted a deep blue-gray and illuminated by a brass pendant lamp, the unsightly old closet is now an appealing place to work. “I wanted to keep it attractive, because it does open up to my living space,” Ms. Carmona said. “It’s my favorite part of the space.”

Credit…Nicole Fuller Interiors

As Ms. Carmona discovered, a closet-to-office transformation can result in one of the most appealing spaces in your home.

“When you convert a closet or a little nook off a hallway into a home office, it can become such a jewel box,” said Nicole Fuller, a New York-based designer. Especially when you have a slightly larger space to work with.

During the renovation of one Manhattan apartment with a pair of awkwardly shaped back-to-back closets, Ms. Fuller demolished the wall in between to create a showstopping home office lined with glossy red-lacquer shelves, desk and wall panels, and a ceiling of antiqued mirror. In another Manhattan apartment, she designed a home office in a walk-in closet using graphic hand-painted wallpaper from Porter Teleo.

The takeaway? In a closet-turned-office, it can pay off to try a decorative treatment that might be outside your comfort zone.

“In small spaces, you can have a lot of fun,” Ms. Fuller said. “Whether it’s a color, finish or wallpaper that would be too much of a commitment to put in a larger room, it can create a dynamic space that is exciting and inspiring to be in.”

Sahred From Source link Real Estate

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